Those who challenged Taksim on May 1 are the most virtuous of all

Those who challenged Taksim on May 1 are the most virtuous of all

Every month, hundreds of workers die in this country. In the past three years, in mines alone 435 workers lost their lives.

What did the government do? It lowered the age of working in hard labor to 16.

Every day, workers die; some have timber fall on their heads in construction sites; others die from methane leaks in the factories they are working. Some are poisoned from the heating stoves in the tents they are staying and others die at mine gas explosions in the mines. Wires break down for others taking the freight elevator. Some die under collapsed framework; others under a bulldozer.

None of these are accidents; they are all murders.

Those responsible for these murders are the bosses who send their workers to death for the sake of income and capital, the government defending the sub-contracting system and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security that does not take enforce security measures and that does not monitor them.

Each time, the government says “Those responsible will be held accountable.” No one is ever held accountable because first they should look in the mirror at themselves and hold themselves accountable. 

Next, they issue statements such as, “This is the will of god, fate and destiny. Their lives were that much;” they legitimize workers’ deaths; they do not refrain from presenting these murders to society as if they were natural incidents.

Well, it was mostly because of this that many wanted to go to Istanbul’s Taksim Square on May Day. It was because they take it as their duty to be a good citizen, a good countryman.

As Rıza Sam wrote in his book titled, “Political Values and Political Ethics,” if members of a community act sensitively and participate when social issues come up, and also demonstrate the ability to question and criticize, furthermore take responsibility, then we can talk about the awareness of citizenship/countrymenship in there.

Do not pay attention to the authority’s labeling them “traitor.”  

Being a good citizen at first and foremost calls for attitudes aiming to eliminate injustice; it calls for solidarity with the victims of injustice.

As Rawls has said, “An essential component of concept of democracy is that citizens ideally act on the basis of public reason and regard themselves from the standpoint of ideal legislators. Citizens fulfill their duty of civility and support the idea of public reason by doing what they can to hold government officials to it. This duty, like other political rights and duties, is an intrinsically moral duty.”

For a strong democracy, an active participation of citizens is necessary, as well as a process of joint decision-making.

As long as this participation does not exist, then lives led by special interests cannot be overcome and a joint benefit cannot be achieved. Strong citizenship bonds cannot be formed… The individual cannot give up thinking only about his/her interests and become a real citizen.

They arbitrarily closed Taksim Square on May 1 to workers and those who are in solidarity with workers, in violation of the Constitution.

Those who resisted have fulfilled their citizenship duties.

No matter what the authority says, they are good citizens. They are not fascists; they are democrats. They are pursuing justice. They are not traitors; they are patriots. They are siding with the weak, not the powerful.

More than anything else they are highly virtuous. 

Do not have the slightest doubt on that.